General Discussion

CSI and other similar crime shows have me worried...
Lonnehart at 5:35PM, June 3, 2010
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Ugh… accidentally deleted the topic instead of editing it… oh, well… T_T

I bet now there are criminals out there who are watching these shows and then using that knowledge to their advantage. Doing stuff such as making sure they leave no minute forensic evidence behind, altering the crime scene in a way so it's impossible to tell that it's been staged, etc… Is it really okay for the producers of these crime shows (whether fact or fiction) to reveal a lot of the stuff the police look for?

On the flip side, shows like The Mythbusters DO leave out important steps. I wonder if there are other science type crime shows that fictionalize the process so criminals watching the show won't use that knowledge to avoid being caught…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 6:24PM, June 3, 2010
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I'm more worried about American jury taking these shows way too seriously. I've heard stories about jury asking why forensics didn't check the clothes of the victim for DNA samples and crap like that because they saw it being done on crime shows like that.
Those were my two cents.
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Hakoshen at 8:29PM, June 3, 2010
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In my opinion, the average person doesn't have the resources or skill to account for everything, and those that do didn't learn from a television show. In the same way someone watching a kung-fu movie can't go out and fight like a master, someone who watches a lot of TV isn't going to pull off the perfect crime. Just as with anything in life, it's a long way from an amateur copying someone else to a professional who really knows what they're doing. Even in these shows, how they really catch people is by the little mistakes they make, and everyone makes mistakes.

Then again, cops in real life are average people who fatigue and have issues and flaws. I know plenty of detectives, and they're not going to run over everything with a fine tooth comb. I'm sure someone out there has done something they saw in a book or a tv show and gotten away with it because of basic precautions they learned to take, but, thankfully, I don't think it would happen that often.

Plus, real forensics is still more capable than even TV shows let on. I think.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:41PM
Hapoppo at 8:39PM, June 3, 2010
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Plus, I think some of the technology used by these guys is sensationalized for TV; a lot of the technology they use seems to be based on real life items, but the way they actually work seems way too glamorous compared to real-life equivalents I've seen.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
ozoneocean at 9:11PM, June 3, 2010
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I think there was a killer in Britain, just caught and tried recently, who was at university studying in criminology.
I don't think studying helped make him better at it though, I just think he was a f**king idiot who was fascinated by the whole romance of the serial killer thing, so that's why he studied it in the first place and then became one himself.
_________________________________

Unlike TV and other entertainment media about crime, there are thousands of murders that go unsolved for decades, even forever. So people don't need TV to help them commit the perfect murder.
I'm not going to speculate on what it takes to get away with a killing though, because I don't that sort of thing is very clever, all things considered, so I'll stick to entertainment media rather than reality.

Along the line of thing Lonnehart mentions there was a film a while ago about two “brilliant” young students who knew all the tricks of modern forensic technology and psychology and decided to become serial killers just to baffle the police- they went around subverting all the normal clues and things, and leading false trails all over the place. I actually haven't seen it, myself, it was just one of those movies that tells you the entire story in the trailer.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
I wanna be a Marysue at 10:03PM, June 3, 2010
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I don't think its worrying. Crime shows are hardly realistic. Its also a lot harder to remove all evidence than it sounds.

Real policemen sometimes tell the public how they solve real crimes, there are heaps of ways for people to find out about real world crime-solving rather than the happenings in a fictional show. I'd be more worried about that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:55PM
bravo1102 at 12:07AM, June 4, 2010
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You want to see how justice works watch Law and Order. No genius detectives, just flatfoots asking the right questions and then the culprit copping a plea with the DA's office.
You know the show is good when the biggest fans are the guys the show is based on; the NYPD and the NYC DA's office. As for CSI? It's a few pounds of fiction with an ounce of science.
The reality shows following around cops and real forensic types around would be more helpful or just reading lots of real crime books.
As for cold cases? The police didn't ask the right questions and often ignored the right answers. Read true crime books you see the cops overlook the simplest things and fail to put together the most obvious of puzzle pieces. Every cop ain't Sherlock Holmes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 6:34AM, June 4, 2010
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bravo1102
Every cop ain't Sherlock Holmes.
A fact most crims rely on.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
crocty at 10:10AM, June 4, 2010
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I made a post in the original, but then deleted the post when you did.
I'll just summarise my previous point in a simpler, harsher way.


ALTHOUGH THEN AGAIN THAT'S NOT ALLOWED IS IT?

Pssh!
CSI is exagerrated anyway so it's not too much of a problem. And I doubt every killer watches crime shows with a pen and paper, noting down everything not to do.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
ozoneocean at 10:37AM, June 4, 2010
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crocty
Lonnethingy
Mentions mythbusters
I HATE MYTHBUSTERS.
Why?

I admit I don't like the clumsy, scripted way ALL of the presenters banter with each other. I also dislike the way the show is edited so that the two mythbusting teams projects are intercut with one another throughput the show in a very annoying and stupid way, totally inappropriate to the kind of show it is.
And lastly, the apparent “definitive” results they claim for almost every “myth” they bust or confirm despite the clearly unscientific nature of most of the trials they conduct- (never enough trials either).

Apart from that, it's really good entertainment, and even if they're not really busting or confirming as many myths as they claim (due to unsound methodology), at least they usually take steps in the right direction.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
crocty at 3:00PM, June 4, 2010
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crocty
Lonnethingy
Mentions mythbusters
I HATE MYTHBUSTERS.
Why?

I admit I don't like the clumsy, scripted way ALL of the presenters banter with each other. I also dislike the way the show is edited so that the two mythbusting teams projects are intercut with one another throughput the show in a very annoying and stupid way, totally inappropriate to the kind of show it is.
And lastly, the apparent “definitive” results they claim for almost every “myth” they bust or confirm despite the clearly unscientific nature of most of the trials they conduct- (never enough trials either).

Apart from that, it's really good entertainment, and even if they're not really busting or confirming as many myths as they claim (due to unsound methodology), at least they usually take steps in the right direction.
Once I got past the hosts which I HATE (I never got past it) then you get the fact they almost never do a fair test.
Like when they tested whether or not using 50 mirrors to set boats on fire would work. But they just used a mirror the size of 50 mirrors.

Alas this is going off subject. (But I do despise Mythbusters.)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
bravo1102 at 7:40AM, June 7, 2010
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ozoneocean
bravo1102
Every cop ain't Sherlock Holmes.
A fact most crims rely on.

The dependence is mutual. Fortunately most criminals are incredibly stupid. I'm talking Darwin awards stupid here.

I'm not fond of Mythbusters either. They busted one of my fav myths without bothering to do the research into what the actual myth was or how it originated.

Penn Gillette's Bullshit is the show to watch.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Byth1 at 8:23PM, June 7, 2010
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crocty
I HATE MYTHBUSTERS.

You sir, are now my mortal enemy. Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it much, The police probably tells them what they can or can't talk about.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
Faliat at 6:15AM, June 8, 2010
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Actually, one of the best methods of killing and getting rid of the evidence I ever heard of came from a childrens crime storybook.

Woman beats husband over the head with frozen leg of lamb.
When visitors come around, she feeds them the murder weapon. All that's left of it is the bone and that didn't make contact.

The only thing I could think of what could get the woman discovered would be the blood splatter. But then you wouldn't have an idea of where it was if it was cleaned up to spray luminol on it.

As for the body, if I remember correctly she threw it in the furnace or buried it in the back garden. I was told it second hand by my teacher over 10 years ago so I'm a bit hazy about the details.

But then again, it was set before forensics got that sophisticated anyway. She would've been dead by the time she could be found out if she hid the body well.


As for CSI, I like it. But sometimes it gets too Bladerunner with the technology. I actually wonder sometimes whether it's really based in the present or the not too distant future.
I mean, getting an image of the perp' from a reflection off a witness/victim's cornea in a security video and BEING ABLE TO ROTATE IT IN 3D?

Britain is one of if not the most survaillanced region of the world. So you can believe me when I tell you that most of these cameras don't have sound or colour images let alone HD detail levels.

Maybe CSI is actually putting the frighteners on criminals by making them think there's no escape? Because if you make them think crime scene investigators are magic and could turn you into a prison bitch in a matter of seconds… That's enough to make them think twice at least.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Byth1 at 8:07AM, June 8, 2010
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Faliat
Woman beats husband over the head with frozen leg of lamb.
When visitors come around, she feeds them the murder weapon. All that's left of it is the bone and that didn't make contact.

The only thing I could think of what could get the woman discovered would be the blood splatter. But then you wouldn't have an idea of where it was if it was cleaned up to spray luminol on it.

As for the body, if I remember correctly she threw it in the furnace or buried it in the back garden. I was told it second hand by my teacher over 10 years ago so I'm a bit hazy about the details.

THAT is what you call a children's book?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
Faliat at 10:36AM, June 8, 2010
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That's nothing. Some of my homework in primary school involved reading a newspaper article about the collateral damage in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. It Included:

A 3 year old girl being killed after Israeli forces shot up her parent's car with her inside. Eyewitness accounts said that so much lead was pumped into her that “Her head exploded”.
A 12 year old boy left to bleed to death in his father's arms after being caught in the crossfire.

We were told to read it in class and then write up what we thought about it. There was only one paper for the whole class. So four or five at a time were gathered around it and discussing how horrible it was.

You wouldn't get anything like that for work if you were ten/eleven these days…

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
lba at 1:44PM, June 8, 2010
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I'm with PP on this one. I think the greater danger is in uninitiated people thinking these things are possible. Ask any artist who regularly creates artwork for print and they'll tell you that it's impossible to take a still from a video camera, enlarge it and then have a computer re-render it into a clear image. The computer would have no idea what the killer's face looks like because all the information that exists in the low resolution image they've enlarged is what's right there. But a lot of people don't know that. So you end up with a whole bunch of people who think the police are capable of godly acts when really they're not necessarily even working with technology too far beyond what a regular person with some money to their name can buy. For my money, if you're really planning on learning that stuff, you might as well just learn how to ask the right questions and go have a talk with your local detective. He might not tell you everything, but anything you do get is probably going to be a hell of a lot more accurate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
Byth1 at 2:00PM, June 8, 2010
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Faliat
A 3 year old girl being killed after Israeli forces shot up her parent's car with her inside. Eyewitness accounts said that so much lead was pumped into her that “Her head exploded”.

A 12 year old boy left to bleed to death in his father's arms after being caught in the crossfire.

We were told to read it in class and then write up what we thought about it. There was only one paper for the whole class. So four or five at a time were gathered around it and discussing how horrible it was.

Wow, And I bet that would be the equivalent of a PG-13 movie nowadays. Great, now I'm all disturbed.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
Faliat at 4:58PM, June 8, 2010
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It was turn of the century Scotland. Kids wers smarter back then since we actually read books and only used the internet when we had to or could and kids TV treated us like young adults instead of dribbling idiots.

There was a dramatisation of the book “Pig Heart Boy” aired on CBBC in the late ‘90s and it was about a 13 year old who had heart problems and had to accept a pig as a donor due to the lack of human ones. There’s a part of it in which he has a heart attack or something after an animal rights activist throws a bucket of blood over him. It won a Childrens BAFTA and has a 9 out of 10 rating on IMDB. It was rerun in ‘05 but isn’t on DVD. Considered too “mature” for the tykes I'd imagine…

That reminds me. Where's that book I picked up at the school book fayre when I was ten that had a boy's thoughts of how naked women with bat wings would be able to have sex with each other?

You can censor TV, movies and videogames all you want. Books will always slip past the radar.


… Until they start controlling them, too…

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
The Gravekeeper at 6:11PM, June 10, 2010
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Lonnehart
Ugh… accidentally deleted the topic instead of editing it… oh, well… T_T

I bet now there are criminals out there who are watching these shows and then using that knowledge to their advantage. Doing stuff such as making sure they leave no minute forensic evidence behind, altering the crime scene in a way so it's impossible to tell that it's been staged, etc… Is it really okay for the producers of these crime shows (whether fact or fiction) to reveal a lot of the stuff the police look for?

On the flip side, shows like The Mythbusters DO leave out important steps. I wonder if there are other science type crime shows that fictionalize the process so criminals watching the show won't use that knowledge to avoid being caught…

Actually, it's often pretty obvious when someone tries to clean up the crime scene themselves. Besides, they always miss something and having shows like that on the air has helped to get more high school graduates interested in forensics, thus resulting in more real CSI's than ever before. With more manpower behind the research, they're coming up with new methods to solve crimes as well as perfecting old ones.

The shows, naturally, are inaccurate. Yes, scientists are smart, but these shows make them look like gods and, unfortunately, they make DNA evidence look more reliable than it really is. DNA is orgnanic, so it does break down over time and it's possible to deliberately fragment it to the point that it's useless as evidence (bleach'll do that). Sometimes it's downright impossible to even get enough DNA from a crime scene to run a single test, let alone the multiple tests that are generally required for it to stand up as evidence in court. Then there's the issue of making people think that an investigation only takes a couple of days; sorry, but they usually take months because the labs are just so backlogged with other cases (getting more people into the profession has helped somewhat, though). In some cases you don't even need DNA to positively identify a victim or a perpetrator; dental records as almost 100% accurate because everyone has a unique set of jaws filled with unique teeth (it's possible to make a positive identification with just one tooth or even just a piece of a jaw).

So yeah, if any of you end up on jury duty, listen to the experts on hand. They know more about the subject than a TV show writer ever will (unless the writer in question used to work in that field).

If you like CSI, I'd recommend checking out a pair of books. “Death's Acre” and “Beyond the Body Farm.” Why? They're essentially the memoirs of one of the pioneers of forensics as we know it today; while they're extremely educational on the subject, the guy has a knack for entertaining as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:14PM

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